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OTHER ITA SITES:
What Makes A Good Leader? Ask Uncle Sam
What do the major generals who are leading the war efforts in Iraq have in common with executives and entrepreneurs who are conducting business back home? When it comes to leadership, the answer is probably a lot more than you think.
In a recent study conducted by the Army War College, subordinates of the major generals who are leading the war efforts in Iraq were asked to rate the performance of their superiors.
The survey revealed that the best leaders:
* Keep cool under pressure
According to retired Gen. Walter Ulmer, coauthor of the study, ďThe study showed that even when tactical and technical competences are excellent, interpersonal skills are critical.Ē
Whatís that? People skills are critical in fighting a war? General Patton must be spinning in his four-star grave.
According to Ulmer the survey revealed that it is easier to teach technical skills than to teach people how to gain trust and build teams. In other words, trained tacticians are important, but the worth of a true leader may best be measured by how he leads, motivates, and treats his troops.
The study further showed that many key behaviors these generals exhibit were learned by example. Their former superiors displayed people skills and whether intended or not, taught those skills to their subordinates. This means that good leaders produced good leaders. Iím sure the flipside is just as true. Bad leaders often produce the next generation of bad leaders. We see it in business everyday. The recent rash of corporate scandals didnít just involve the bad guys at the top. They often involved subordinate executives who were following the leaderís example and carrying out his not-so honorable plans.
Not surprisingly, the same traits found in the generals leading the effort in Iraq are the same traits found in many successful executives and entrepreneurs.
Keeps cool under pressure
Clearly explains missions, sets the standards and priorities
Sees the big picture; provides context and perspective
Makes tough, sound decisions on time
Adapts quickly to new situations; can handle bad news
Gives useful feedback; sets a high ethical tone
Is positive, encouraging and realistically optimistic
Every entrepreneur should take a lesson from these generals, as should every corporate executive. Iím sure it would cut down on the time many of them are now spending in the stockade.
Hereís to your success!
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